There’s nothing quite like the experience of a BBQ. Eating outside is just… better. Still, when you’re touring in a motorhome, campervan, RV or caravan, finding the right BBQ for your needs can be challenging. That’s why we’ve reviewed the best portable BBQs on the market to help you choose what’s right for you.
Heading off on a trip? Don’t forget to grab your FREE pre-trip checklist below to help you stay organised.
*We work hard to make this the best motorhome travel blog and road trip website possible, full of helpful content for you. The website is supported by our readers, so if you buy through links on this site we may earn a commission- at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.
If you find this post useful, you can also treat us to a coffee – we promise to enjoy it while creating more useful content like this- we might even indulge in a biscuit (or two!)
JUMP AHEAD TO...
The Joy of Motorhome & Caravan BBQs
One of the things you can always rely on in England is the fact that the first sunny day we have each Spring, everyone starts talking about getting the barbeque out.
Even if it’s still 4 degrees outside!
There’s something about eating outside your motorhome or camper which just makes it all feel so much more… adventurous.
Still, not many van campsites allow campfires, which is a shame, so the best alternative is a BBQ.
Whether you’re a full-time motorhomer or just enjoy taking your caravan out for weekend getaways, having a reliable and good-quality BBQ can make all the difference to your adventures.
Trouble is, there are so many options on the market it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your motorhome or caravan.
In this post, we’ll help you navigate the wonderful world of caravan and motorhome BBQs by highlighting the top things to consider when choosing a BBQ and providing an in-depth review of the best camper BBQs on the market.
From portable and lightweight options to larger grills that can feed a crowd, we’ve got you covered.
Types of Motorhome / Caravan BBQs
There are plenty of different types of portable BBQ on the market. Some of the key factors to consider are:
- Size and weight
- Fuel source
- Portability and ease of setup
- Durability and quality
- Ease of cleaning
Let’s talk more about each of these below.
Size and weight of BBQ
When it comes to choosing a motorhome BBQ, it’s essential to consider their size and weight. You need to make sure that the BBQ fits in the storage space available in your motorhome or caravan, and also that it is not too heavy to move around easily. If you don’t want to get it out of the locker, you’ll never use it!
Also, you need to consider your motorhome payload– a heavy BBQ can take you over your maximum weight limit. Having said that, you don’t want one so light that it blows over in a light breeze!
Compact and portable BBQs are usually the best choice for those with limited space, as they take up less room and are easier to transport. Larger BBQs are great for those who have the space to store them (like a garage), but can be difficult to move around.
Also, if you’re cooking for a larger number of people, you’ll need a larger BBQ, which might make things harder. While a large cooking area might be appealing, remember it will take longer to heat up and cool down, so take this into consideration.
BBQ Fuel Source
The three main types of fuel sources for BBQs are gas, charcoal, and electric. Gas BBQs are popular due to their convenience and ease of use, while charcoal BBQs offer a lovely smoky flavour. Electric BBQs offer easy, smoke-free cooking, but tie you to an electric outlet. Your choice of fuel source will depend on your personal preference and the type of cooking you want to do. More on this in the next section.
Portability and Ease of Setup
Portability and ease of setup are important factors to consider when choosing a motorhome / caravan BBQ. You need to ensure that the BBQ is easy to move around and put in and out of its storage spot, especially if you plan to move it around frequently.
A compact BBQ that is easy to set up can also save you time and hassle, allowing you to start cooking quickly and easily.
Durability and Quality
You want to ensure that the BBQ you choose is built to last and can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. It also needs to survive to journey between campsites!
A high-quality BBQ will provide you with better cooking results, allowing you to cook your food evenly and thoroughly. Look for a BBQ that is made from durable materials, such as stainless steel, and comes with a good warranty for added peace of mind.
Ease of Cleaning
Lastly, whilst many of us may be guilty of leaving a dirty BBQ in our back garden, in a motorhome you’ll be putting the BBQ back into your van. You’ll be cleaning it a lot more than you might be used to. Getting one which is easy to clean is essential- otherwise you just won’t want to use it.
Which is the Best Fuel for Motorhome BBQs?
There are 3 main types of fuel sources to consider for motorhome and caravan BBQs.
- Gas: Gas BBQs are the most popular type of motorhome BBQ because they’re so convenient. You can get them on either propane or butane gas and they offer a quick and consistent heat source for cooking. Gas BBQs come in various sizes and shapes, from portable tabletop models to larger freestanding units with multiple burners. They are also relatively easy to clean and can cool down quite quickly afterwards, making them easier to put away before bedtime. If you don’t have a gas point on your van for a BBQ, you can buy a small bottle to use with them.
- Charcoal: Charcoal BBQs are another popular type of campervan BBQ. The charcoal used gives a smoky flavour to the food. They can take longer to heat up compared to gas BBQs, but they can also reach higher temperatures, making them ideal for grilling steaks and other meats. Charcoal BBQs are usually cheaper than gas BBQs, and many people enjoy the traditional feel of cooking with charcoal.
- Electric: Electric BBQs are becoming more popular due to their convenience and safety. They are powered by electricity and offer an easy and smoke-free way to grill food. Electric BBQs are also lightweight and portable, making them a great option for those who don’t have a lot of space in their motorhome or caravan. However, they can be more expensive than gas or charcoal BBQs, and they require an electrical outlet to operate, which may not be available at all campsites.
Motorhome Gas BBQ Point
Some motorhomes have an external gas point which a BBQ can connect to. Whilst this is great, don’t feel obliged to use it if you’d prefer to have a different type of BBQ. Similarly, if you don’t have one on your motorhome (I don’t!), it doesn’t mean you can’t get a gas BBQ.
The Best Gas BBQs for Motorhomes and Caravans
Here are our favourite gas-fueled BBQs for motorhomes and caravans. Whilst we appreciate everyone has different requirements, we’ve assessed them based on the factors above, to help you make a comparison.
Cadac Safari Chef 2 QR BBQ/ Safari Chef 30
Cadac have a reputation for creating great BBQs and it’s not without good reason. The Cadac Safari Chef is one of their most popular options with thousands of positive reviews across all models.
EDITOR REVIEW: This is the BBQ that I have, and I LOVE it. I chose it after all this research/ reviewing and have used it several times since purchase. It’s quick to heat up, easy to clean and stable enough to survive a moderate wind. Very happy with my purchase.
- Dimensions: 28D x 32W x 38.8H cm
- Weight: less than 4kg
- Fuel type: Gas cylinder or cartridge
- Good height
- Plenty of features, including variable heat setting, Piezo ignition and a stay-cool handle.
- Extra options include a pizza stone and paella pan.
- Carry/ storage bag included
Reason to avoid:
- More expensive than some others we tested
- Legs can be a bit fiddly until you figure out the knack!
This versatile gas barbecue weighs less than 4 kg and comes with at least four different cooking surfaces; a burner with potstand, a BBQ grid, a grill plate and a lid/dome (the lid/dome can also be used as a pot).
The BBQ grid has ceramic coating for healthier and cleaner cooking, plus it makes it easier to clean. The removable fat pan catches cooking residue, but also protects the Safari Chef’s burner from wind to prevent the burner from blowing out. You can easily clean all surfaces with soapy water.
There is an integrated heat spreader under the BBQ to ensure the heat is evenly distributed over the entire cooking surface.
What type of Cadac BBQ is best for vanlife?
I was confused when I was trying to buy one of these, as there seemed to be several identical models on the market.
The differences come with the gas bottle and connector options, and also whether you opt for the additional pan/ lid or not. Make sure you’re buying the correct gas & connector for the option you choose. Some need a canister and not a small bottle.
The Safari Chef is available as a low pressure unit (LP) and as a high pressure unit (HP). Note: gas bottle, pressure regulator and / or Power Pak are not included.
I chose to go for QR Cadac Safari Chef option with extra pan so I can use it for more dishes. The ‘QR’ means Quick Release and makes it much easier to attach and disconnect gas bottles. (LP= low pressure and HP= high pressure)
Also, in 2021, the diameter of the BBQ was added to the product name of the barbecue and its accessories. Eg: Safari Chef 2 became Safari Chef 30 (so you can buy any accessories with that same diameter). There are no other differences- only the product name was changed.
Weber Q1200 Gas BBQ
The Weber Q1200 (and smaller Q1000 version) are often cited as some of the best bbqs for motorhoming and caravanning. It’s a good size and easy to transport and set up.
- Dimensions: 66D x 85.2W x 120H cm
- Weight: 15kg
- Fuel type: Gas cylinder
- Portable and Lightweight- easy to transport and set up
- easy to operate, with a simple ignition system and temperature control.
- Heats up quickly and provides consistent heat for even cooking.
- Cast aluminum body and durable stainless steel burners. It also comes with a long-lasting porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grate.
- Surprisingly large cooking area, with enough room to cook a BBQ for a small group of people.
- Versatile: Can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including grilling, roasting, and even baking.
- Expensive- this is not the BBQ for those on a budget
- Limited Fuel Options: The Q1200 runs on propane gas only.
- No Side Burner, which may limit the types of dishes you can prepare.
- Doesn’t come with a cover or stand
This Weber BBQ packs a lot of features into its compact design. With a sturdy cast aluminium body and durable stainless steel burners, the Q1200 is built to last and provide consistent heat for even cooking. It’s also portable and lightweight, with a large cooking area and can be used for a variety of cooking methods. While it may be more expensive than other portable BBQs on the market, the Weber Q1200 is a high-quality grill that is sure to last for many years to come.
Alternative Product: Weber Q1000 Portable Gas BBQ
Camping Gaz Party Grill 400 CV
If you want a gas BBQ on a budget which has THOUSANDS of positive reviews, look no further. The Camping Gas PartyGrill 400 seems to have everything a motorhomer or caravanner needs.
Its compact design has foldable legs and a lid which doubles as a wok, making it easy to transport and set up. The grill also comes with a non-stick griddle, a reversible grilling/griddle plate, and a stove attachment, allowing you to cook a variety of dishes with ease.
The Party Grill 400 CV is powered by a small gas canister, which can last for several hours of continuous use. Its Piezo ignition system makes it easy to light, and the adjustable heat control ensures even cooking.
- Dimensions: 12.6D x 12.2W x 15.7H cm
- Weight: 4.92kg
- Fuel Source: Gas
- Best for those on a medium budget
- Versatile Cooking Options: The Party Grill 400 CV comes with a range of cooking options, including a griddle, reversible grilling/griddle plate, and stove attachment, making it ideal for cooking a variety of dishes.
- Portable and Lightweight: The grill’s compact design and foldable legs make it easy to transport and set up, making it perfect for camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities.
- Easy to Use: The Party Grill 400 CV features a Piezo ignition system, which makes it easy to light, and the adjustable heat control ensures even cooking.
- Non-stick Surface: The non-stick surface of the grill and griddle plates make it easy to clean and maintain.
- Efficient Fuel Usage: The grill is powered by a small gas canister, which can last for several hours of continuous use, making it an efficient and cost-effective option.
- Limited Cooking Area: The Party Grill 400 CV has a relatively small cooking area, which may not be sufficient for larger groups or families.
- Limited Durability: Some users have reported that the grill’s components, such as the gas regulator, may be prone to breaking after extended use.
- Limited Fuel Source: The grill is only compatible with Camping Gaz canisters, which may not be readily available in all locations.
- Assembly Required: The grill requires some assembly before use, which may be challenging for some users.
Best Charcoal BBQs for Motorhomes and Caravans
These are the charcoal BBQs we recommend for motorhomes and caravans. We’ve given a range of budgets and options for all types of van life.
Just remember, if you’re going to use charcoal, you need to make sure you can dispose of it properly- not all campsites have facilities to do so.
Cobb Premier Charcoal Barbecue Grill
The Cobb Premier Charcoal Barbecue Grill is an excellent option for those who want a versatile and portable BBQ that’s easy to use and delivers great results. With its compact and lightweight design, this BBQ is perfect for use in a motorhome, camping, or picnicking in the park.
One of the standout features of this BBQ is its fuel source. The cobblestones are easy to light and provide a steady heat source for several hours. This makes it convenient for those who want to cook outdoors without the hassle of lugging around heavy propane tanks or bags of charcoal.
The cooking surface is also impressive, with a grilling plate that can be adjusted to three different heights to accommodate different types of food. It’s also easy to clean, thanks to the non-stick surface that prevents food from sticking and makes wiping down the surface a breeze.
Assembly is quick and easy, and the BBQ comes with a sturdy carry bag that makes it easy to transport. It has a cool base, but it’s worth noting that the BBQ does get very hot during use, so it’s important to take care when handling it and leave it plenty of time to cool down before packing it away.
- Dimensions: 33 x 33 x 30 cm
- Weight: 3.6kg
- Fuel: Cobblestones but can use alternative (cheaper) charcoal
Reasons to buy:
- Very versatile; you’ll be able to roast, smoke, bake, barbecue, fry and more
- Temperature control- mesh base & adjustable air vents in the domed lid so you can tailor the temperature to suit the food you’re cooking.
- Cool base- can be stood on grass or a wooden table
- Fast and efficient; Eight to ten charcoal briquettes provide up to 3 hours’ cooking time, and one fast-heating Cobble Stone will give up to 2 hours’ cooking time – and get you ready to cook in just 7 minutes.
- Limited cooking space: the Cobb charcoal BBQ is relatively small and may not be suitable for cooking for larger groups.
- Need for special fuel for best results: the Cobb charcoal BBQ requires special cobblestones or charcoal bricks to operate, which may not be readily available everywhere.
- Price: the Cobb charcoal BBQ is more expensive than some other portable BBQ options on the market.
- May not reach high temperatures: the Cobb charcoal BBQ may not reach the high temperatures needed for some types of cooking, such as searing meat.
Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Barbeque Grill
The Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Barbeque Grill is a compact and portable grill perfect for those who love to grill outside. Despite its small size, the grill has a generous cooking area, which is enough to cook for a small group of people.
It has porcelain-coated steel grates which are durable and easy to clean and precise temperature control. The Go Anywhere grill also features a lockable lid and foldable legs, making it easy to transport and store.
Overall, the Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Barbeque Grill is a high-quality and versatile grill that is perfect for those who want to enjoy the taste of charcoal-grilled food while on the road.
- Dimensions: 21.7D x 11W x 16.3H cm
- Weight: 10kg
- Fuel type: Charcoal
Reason to buy:
- Good size cooking area
- Easy to clean and store
Reason to avoid:
- Takes a while to cool down
- Needs assembly before use
- No fancy features or accessories
Weber Smoky Joe Charcoal Portable BBQ
I have a soft spot for this little guy. Perhaps it’s the colour, perhaps it’s the way it smells BBQing my burger and sausages or perhaps it’s the way it’s just so fricking easy to use.
Whatever it is, if you’re after a compact, easy to clean and carry charcoal BBQ, the Weber Smoky Joe is the one I’d recommend.
- Dimensions: 16.5D x 14.2W x 17H cm
- Weight: 4kg
- Fuel type: Charcoal
- Easy to use. Just load up the charcoal, light it up, and you’re ready to start grilling.
- The adjustable dampers make it easy to control the temperature
- porcelain-coated steel grates are easy to clean
- Affordable: The Smokey Joe is one of the most affordable grills on the market, making it a great choice for those who want a high-quality grill without breaking the bank.
- Small size and cooking area
- Not great for anything other than BBQ-ing
- No Lid Holder: Unlike some other Weber grills, the Smokey Joe doesn’t come with a lid holder, so you’ll have to find a place to set the lid while you’re grilling.
George Foreman Portable Charcoal Barbecue
The George Foreman Premium On-The-Go Portable Charcoal Barbecue is perfect for those who love to travel and explore. With its lightweight and portable design, it’s easy to take with you on camping trips, picnics, or any other outdoor adventure. The two-part rack allows you to grill up your favourite foods, while the adjustable airflow ensures that you get the perfect temperature every time.
- Dimensions: 30D x 56W x 35H cm
- Weight: 6.3kg
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- easy to assemble
- heat-resistant carry handle
- lockable lid
- good for meat and veggies
- adjustable airflow allows you to control the temperature of the grill, giving you more control over how your food is cooked.
- Small Cooking Area- not the best choice for larger groups.
- Limited features compared to other grills on the market
- Some users have reported issues with the grill’s durability, with some parts breaking or wearing down after a few uses.
Best Portable Electric BBQs for Motorhomes
Portable electric grills for motorhomes and caravans are quite a new thing, so there aren’t a huge range of them available – yet. Still, if you use campsites a lot and are happy to be restricted to using an electricity supply, you might find an electric BBQ best for you.
Weber Electric Grill BBQ Q1400
The Weber Q1400 Electric Grill is a great option for those who want to enjoy the delicious taste of grilled food without the hassle of dealing with charcoal or propane- or the worry about running out of fuel!
One of the best things about the Weber Q1400 Electric Grill is its versatility. With a 1560-watt heating element, this grill can reach high temperatures quickly, making it perfect for grilling all kinds of foods like burgers, steaks, and vegetables.
Another great feature of the Weber Q1400 Electric Grill is how easy it is to use and maintain. The removable catch pan makes cleaning up a breeze, and the porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates are both durable and easy to clean.
- Dimensions: 20.5D x 27W x 24.6H cm
- Weight: 8.7kg
- Fuel: Electric
- Easy to use- simple plug-and-go setup. Controls are easy to understand and use.
- Convenience and can usually be used where BBQs are otherwise banned
- Quick Heating: The powerful heating element heats up quickly, allowing you to start grilling in just minutes.
- Easy Maintenance and cleaning
- Must be plugged in to electric supply
- Small cooking area- perfect for couples but not much larger groups
Safety Tips for Using BBQs
- Never use a BBQ inside your motorhome or enclosed space, as it can be a fire hazard and release dangerous gases
- Always place the BBQ on a stable, level surface away from any flammable materials and overhead obstructions.
- Keep your BBQ well away from dogs/ other pets, especially if they’re on a long lead which could get wrapped around it
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure you know how to use it. The best fire extinguisher for motorhomes is the Fire Safety Stick
- Never leave a lit BBQ unattended and keep children away from the grill.
- Allow the BBQ to cool down completely before storing it away.
- Regularly clean the barbeque after each use to prevent buildup of grease and debris. Use a wire brush to scrub the grates and remove any excess food residue.
- Check the fuel source and connections regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and not leaking gas (assuming it’s a gas BBQ!)
- Store the BBQ in a dry, protected area when not in use to prevent rust and other damage.
- Preheat the BBQ for at least 10-15 minutes before cooking to ensure even heat distribution.
- Oil the grill/ griddle with a high-heat cooking oil to prevent sticking and make cleaning easier.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that food is cooked to the proper internal temperature to avoid food-related illnesses.
- Use indirect heat cooking methods for larger cuts of meat, such as roasts, to ensure that the meat is cooked all the way through without burning the outside.
- Experiment with different types of wood chips or charcoal to add flavour to your grilled foods.
BBQ Cook Books
Here are some good books for BBQ cooking ideas. Enjoy!
I hope you found that post about motorhome BBQs useful. Do you have something to add? Feel free to drop a comment below.
Want more tips for motorhoming?
Here are some more ideas you might find useful:
- Essential Motorhome accessories every van should have
- Best Sat-nav for motorhomes or campervans
- Motorhome Security– tips for at home and on the road
- How to get Internet & wifi in a motorhome
- Europe- essential gear for travelling to Europe
- Best gift ideas for motorhome and campervan owners
Want FREE checklists, eBooks and additional tips to help? Visit our resource page
Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.
Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API